“We have opened the chain,” said Chiliz CEO Alexandre Dreyfus.
After launching its layer-1 blockchain last month, the sports-centric crypto project hopes now to attract new partners to its ecosystem.
The Chiliz Chain 2.0 is a fork of the BNB Chain operating on a proof-of-stake authority (PoSA) consensus mechanism that supports shorter block time, lower fees, and less energy usage. The network is still compatible with Ethereum and is powered by the native CHZ token.
Chiliz is leading much of the hype around so-called fan tokens, offering specialized cryptocurrencies for sports teams like Manchester City, Paris Saint-German, Arsenal, and many others. These tokens let fans vote on new uniform designs or stadium names.
“You have to onboard developers and companies because we have already more than 2 million users and 100 sports brands,” Dreyfus told Decrypt at this year’s Paris Blockchain Week.
His long-term goal is to make Chiliz a fully open and decentralized environment, where sports teams would be invited to develop their own products.
“Chiliz's ultimate goal is to create an ecosystem with fans of different sports teams and disciplines, and we hope that in the future, most of the validators will be the sports teams themselves,” said Dreyfus.
To convince developers and startups to deploy their projects on the chain, Chiliz launched a $50 million incubator backed by Jump Crypto on March 1. It aims to invest in early-stage Web3 projects in the sports and other entertainment sectors that will build on the chain.
Between eight and 10 projects are set to start building on the network, according to Chiliz. A few firms have already joined, including the athlete NFT platform Blockasset.
“I talk with a lot of good developers with great ideas,” Dreyfus told Decrypt. “But you need funding to make it happen.”
'There will always be sports fans': Chiliz CEO
Another way to expand the Chiliz ecosystem has been to invest in companies.
Chiliz recently moved to acquire 20% of MatchWornShirt, a company that puts players' jerseys on auction. It will now use the blockchain to certify the authenticity of the items.
If onboarding new partners constitutes a real challenge, the CEO is nonetheless optimistic, convinced that we are witnessing the beginnings of the Web3 sports ecosystem.
“There will always be sports fans,” he said. “Even if Bitcoin were to go to zero, Chiliz's blockchain would still be there, live with its users.”